CINCINNATI — Solar energy in Ohio is still a growing market. In fact, since 2016, Solar United Neighbors has helped Ohio residents save $6.6 million in local solar spending, and leaders believe the city of Cincinnati is primed for growth especially because the city and Hamilton County support it.

So with the help of partnerships, the Solar Cincy Residential Co-op was launched at the end of February to help residents learn more about the advantages and cost of solar panels.

What You Need To Know

  • Solarize Cincy is encouraging a group of residents to join together as a co-op to purchase solar panels

  • City officials and leaders in the solar market believe Cincy is primed for growth in the solar energy industry

  • The idea is, the more people that come and join the co-op the cheaper it is the purchase the panels

  • The average yearly savings on energy bills with solar panels in $1,100.

Chuck Lohre is one of the minority in the city that has solar panels. He said his Duke Energy bill has gone down dramatically.

“There’s not much to report," Lohre said. Usage is zero, zero kilowatt hours. This is the December bill.”

In just a year and a half has already saved more than $800 in his energy bills.

“This is another app I have that shows all my electricity use in the house," Lohre said. "So you see I’m generating a huge amount of solar energy now.”

The cost may be surprising. Lohre paid $17,000 for his panels thanks to a tax abatement — a fraction of the cost of what his estimate was in 2008.

That’s what the city of Cincinnati hopes residents see through the new solar co-op; the potential to save a large amount of money over the course of several years while also doing your part to be green.

“If you’re going to plan to stay in your house and you’ve got a roof that’s in pretty good shape so you won’t have to replace the roof when you’ve got new panels on it and you’re going to stay in your house, it would be a very good investment," he said.

You can learn more about solar panels, the cost and the co-op here.

Editor’s note: The name of the organization, which was incorrectly referred to as the Solar United Neighborhoods in the story, has been changed to the Solar United Neighbors.